New Fossils Raise Molecular Questions

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Science  15 Feb 2002:
Vol. 295, Issue 5558, pp. 1217
DOI: 10.1126/science.295.5558.1217

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For years, DNA studies have concluded that humans and our closest relatives, the chimpanzees, last shared a common ancestor about 5 million to 7 million years ago. But with paleontologists uncovering two or more hominids already on different evolutionary paths by about 6 million years ago (see main text), some researchers have begun to wonder whether our molecular clock has been correctly calibrated.